Protesters shut down petrochemical firm in Rivers

Refinery
Assembly moves to repeal state reserved fund law

Protesters from six host-communities yesterday paralysed business activities at the Indorama Petrochemical Limited in Eleme Local Council of Rivers State.

It was learnt that the protesters, mainly women and youths, were grieved by the death of a youth leader in the area, Mr. Aji Ngoya, allegedly murdered recently in connection with agitation by people of the communities for payment of their entitlemens by the company.

The protesters, who insisted on the resignation of the managing director of the firm, Mr. Manish Mundra, also called on the police to unravel the killers of the youth leader.

Spokesman of the protesters, Benjamin Igokena, while addressing journalists during the protest, accused him of conniving with an investment company to short-change the communities.

He stressed that unfortunately, the communities had not received their own share of the money. They demanded that the petrochemical company should pay the dividends directly to the communities whose employment quota should also be given directly to them.

But Mr. Mundra denied conniving with any firm or individual to defraud the communities.

His special adviser, Dr. Jossy Nkwocha, said that the firm would arrange a tripartite meeting of Indorama, Elana and the communities’ representatives to resolve any lingering issue.

He also appealed to the protesters to give the company time to convene the meeting, claiming that Indorama had been paying the dividends accruing to the communities to Elana Investment.

In another development, the House of Assembly has moved to repeal the Reserved Fund Law, No. 2 of 2008 established to enable the state compulsorily save N1 billion monthly.

The House Leader, Martin Amaewhule, made the move yesterday when he presented a bill tagged: “Rivers State Reserved Fund Repeal Bill, 2017, on the floor of the House.

Also, the executive through the leader, presented a bill seeking to establish a teaching hospital for the state-owned University of Science and Technology (RSUST), among others.

Speaker Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani expressed the hope that they would have a robust legislative this year.



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